On the third day out at sea the Roaring Venture reached Westfjords and the fishing grounds. The lads all made ready to shoot the net and the skipper gave the signal to clear the deck as nearly a mile of netting went over the side. The metal duck boards went over and the net would be dragged along the sea bottom for over and hour. This was where the lads all got themselves a hot cup of tea and a smoke before the real work began because once the trawling began there would be no stopping until the hold was full. The fish would all have to be gutted and washed, boxed and then iced to keep the fish as fresh as possible. The sea was fairly calm today so there wouldn’t be a problem winching the net back on board. The nets first shot is usually a good indicator of how well the fishing is going to be. Eddie Saint radioed his friend Billy Bones Jones on board the Provider 11. and his other friend John Ellis on board the Lazy Ann.
“Provider, Provider, this is the Roaring Venture are you there Billy Bones over.’
There as a crackle the Billy answered.
“Hi this is provider 11; how you doing you fat bugger.’
“Just cos you’re a skinny sod Billy,’ how’s the fishing?’
Just had my first in Sainty and it weren’t good; all small whiting; it all went back over.’
“Just shot my first, I’m over at Westfjords; where are you over?’
“We are just three mile off Grimsey; over.’
“I will give you a shout if we get into some matey.’
“Cheers Sainty over and out.’
Eddie looked at his watch there was three quarters of an hour to go. Des his engineer came up to the wheelhouse with a mug of tea.
“Any news then skipper.’
“Aye, the Provider 11 just had there first net in and it was all small whiting; it had to go back. He will move further west if it doesn’t improve.’
“Let’s hope we have hit the sweet spot then skipper.’
“Aye,’ your right there Dezzy lad.’
“Three good hauls and we can aal gan yem.’
They both looked out as the lads came up on deck they were as anxious as he was as the made ready with the winch.
“How’s everything in the engine room.’
“She’s purring like a cat skipper.’
“Aye but the sea’s pretty calm oot there at the minute there is a front coming over about six in the mornin’ if we can fill the hold before then we can head back yem.’
“Never works oot that way though does it.’
“Yer can bet yor bottom dollar that we will get two good hauls and the third will be shite.’
Sainty lit up a Senior Service cigarette and handed one to his friend as he took out his lighter from his pocket. He opened the window of the cabin and Dougie Cook looked up into the cabin he raised his thumb I the air and the skipper shouted “another ten minutes Dougie.’
Sainty took a gulp of his tea then took a drag from his cigarette before letting out a satisfied gasp.’
“I wish to hell I could give these up yer na Dezzy; a wad save a bloody fortune.’
“Me an aal Sainty, but a man’s got to have some vices.’
“I sat the other neet there wondering’ how many of these buggers I smoke in a year.’
“Turns oot I smoke three thousand seven hundred and sixty in a year and I’ve been smoking since I was thirteen.